While the devastating images of Hurricane Sandy's aftermath may be fading for some, there are still numerous Lindenhurst residents working to recover from the storm and navigate the bureaucracy to receive financial assitance from the government.
Some of those residents came to the Lindenhurst Middle School recently to try and get some information from FEMA and other federal and local Village officials on hand, about where to turn and how to get much-needed funds to rebuild their homes, and their lives.
Kate Shreve lives on Palm Street, and her home was damaged by three feet of flood waters. She found the meeting helpful, as it steered her in the right direction.
Still the process of applications, phone calls and the like is a frustrating one.
"I'm understanding the process; they're not going to duplicate [funds] - you have to do your homeowner's [insurance], you have to do your flood [insurance] and you have to do FEMA, [as] none of them will pay for the same thing," Shreve said.
Nancy Gasparro lost the whole first floor of her South Ninth Street home, and had questions about toxins that came into her home via the flood, from fuel that spilled into the water.
She hoped to get some clarity on the issue, and said sometimes the whole experience can be overwhelming.
"It's exhausting and depressing," Gasparro said. "You go through cycles of emotion where some days I'm sitting outside my house in my car crying because all I want to do is climb into my bed and sleep, and I can't."
Then there's Gary Silberman, who lost his entire Venetian Boulevard house to Sandy. His mother recently passed away, and his father is disabled. He was told at the meeting to apply to the Small Business Association for a loan to rebuild.
He's not optimistic he'll be approved, and he's already been turned down by FEMA. The meeting gave him some more options, but he said there's a long way to go.
"I'm pretty much in the same spot. The best-case scenario that I didn't know about is possibly we might get $12,000 more [via rental assistance] than I thought we could get, and that's not going to get us a house," Silberman said.
All Silberman can do, he said, is continue to plug away.
"Everything is day by day; I don't know what tomorrow's going to bring. I just hope for the best," he said.
Shreve has her own way of dealing with the post-Sandy stress, including dealing with contractors, finding a place to stay (she has) and getting her daughter to school every day.
"It's a little frustrating, but I joined a gym to start relaxing. I had to do something for myself," she said.
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